Embracing ‘The Five Lands Model’ Into Entrepreneurship, Based on Ayalla Reuven-Lelong’s Work

A hillscape with different elements, such as some hills are grassy and some are with trees.
Photo by Ciocan Ciprian on Unsplash

‘Five Lands’ is an inspiring model of the skillset that managers and employees should embrace to succeed in the new workplace era. Developed by the EQ-EL team at KPMG, and Ayalla Reuven-Lelong, this model sheds light on the new standards for how entrepreneurs should think and work in our ever-changing reality. If we consider entrepreneurs as leaders, why shouldn’t we guide them to be the leaders of the future?

As an Israeli Startup Coach working with co-founders in Israel & all around the world, I see the model’s impact on the entrepreneurs I work with. According to the recent Israeli Tech Review, the Israeli high-tech capital raising has skyrocketed in Q1/2021. The quarterly capital amount soared to $5.37 billion in 172 deals, indicating an increase of 89% over Q4/2020. As we face this exciting news, it is now time to reflect on our leadership styles to become the leaders of tomorrow, so we could all maintain our start-up nation’s success with the right mindset. Here are five principles to follow in times of change in the world, and especially in the workplace.

1 — The Mindset Land

Much of what we think of our personality comes from our mindset — a person’s way of thinking. According to Professor Carol Dweck, the author of “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” there are two types of mindsets — ‘fixed’ and ‘growth.’ A growth mindset is a belief that people can change their talents, abilities, and intelligence. As such, those with a growth mindset believe that one can become better with time and effort. Conversely, having a fixed mindset is that aspects of your personality are static and unchangeable.

Mindsets are leaders’ starting point from which they see and interpret problems, as well as opportunities. While a fixed mindset entrepreneur considers failure a dead-end, entrepreneurs with a growth mindset embrace failure as a powerful tool for learning in the pursuit of knowledge. Leaders with a growth mindset have big dreams, and they empower themselves to believe they can turn their dreams into reality. They are not delusional but rather self-aware. Their growth mindset helps them set small goals in order to achieve bigger ones and see themselves as lifelong learners in an ever-changing reality to which they have to adapt.

Michael Jordan once said: “I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Jordan’s words could ideally serve entrepreneurs as a mantra of their growth mindset. If we choose to see failure as the key to success, we could become the leaders of tomorrow and take ourselves, our organizations, and our people to places they have never been before.

“A growth mindset attitude is a prerequisite for success in a new reality where change has become the new normal” (Ayalla Reuven-Lelong, The Five Lands Model).

2 — The ‘Artgineer’ Land

The model highlights that the future belongs to whole-brain leaders who can integrate both right-brain imagination, artistry and intuition and left-brain logic and planning. The combined qualities of the right-brain artist and the left-brain engineer are coined in short, ‘artgineer.’ Creativity, for example, requires whole-brain thinking to provide a strategic roadmap for problem-solving, innovation and transformation.

As many computers and big data technologies now take over many analytical processes, success in the new era of the workplace requires both parts of the brain. The technological changes bring forward creative leaders who are visionary, impactful, leaders with the ability to think outside the box to discover new ways of learning and improving, and leaders who can maintain meaningful relationships with their co-founders, investors, customers and employees.

Take the famed entrepreneur Elon Musk, who is an engineer by definition. For some, Musk seems crazy. For others, he looks like the creative visionary genius that he is. The world’s richest person in early 2021 turns his extreme dreams into actions by developing advanced technologies in the fields of artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, and even spaceships. Musk sees himself as a revolutionary entrepreneur who is motivated by helping others while looking at the bigger picture of the world. Instead of stopping and staring at others, he creates his own ways of getting along in his business approach. Thus, Musk serves as an ultimate and even extraordinary example of a real ‘artgineer’ who devises change with great confidence, character, and courage.

3 — The Emotional Intelligence Land

Emotional intelligence is the skill of detecting and understanding emotions in others as well as oneself. Leaders who are highly emotionally intelligent rely on empathy, respect, and consideration to bring out the best in their employees and clients and maintain meaningful relationships with their Co-founders and investors. In addition, emotionally intelligent leadership leads to improved performance and productivity among teams, which makes sense. When we feel that someone sees and accepts us as we are, we are more motivated to do whatever needs to be done.

The entrepreneurs of tomorrow can cultivate emotional intelligence in themselves using simple practice methods, such as active listening or simulating the feelings of others. According to the model, EI skills, previously considered a ‘soft skill,’ are now a ‘critical skill’ of success in the new era of the workplace.

Emotional intelligence is a critical skill for individual leaders and entrepreneurs and essential at the organizational level. Gary Vaynerchuck presents an excellent example of the importance of putting people first. Recently, he hired a Chief Hearts Officer who is mentoring a vast amount of employees in VaynerMedia. This ideology of putting people first reflects the direction of the new workplace era. It shows us that organizations are becoming to realize the importance of considering the needs of others in order to increase productivity and even vitality within the organization.

“If I could sell a formula made up of gratitude, empathy, and self-awareness, it would be my billion-dollar coconut water idea.” (Gary Vaynerchuck, the famed entrepreneur)

4 — The Sustainability Land

Sustainability is all about success in the long term. This land consists of our ability to find a sense of higher purpose in our work and life, embrace an optimistic mindset, maintain a vast network of relationships, and take care of ourselves properly while engaging in activities that contribute to our well-being. For Lelong, it’s about “staying on the boat while riding the white water rapids.” Here are four principles I chose to focus on:

Purpose

A sense of purpose is a daily reminder of the ‘why’ in our life. This is essential for strong leadership as it helps us focus, set our criteria for decision making, and empower us to overcome various obstacles that many entrepreneurs face each day.

Optimism

Optimistic leadership does not mean blind optimism, but a smart approach of positive framing on how we see and interpret the world, focus on the positives and inspire others with a sense of capability rather than helplessness. Optimistic leaders create a vision that inspires others to be a part of it and do whatever it takes to get there.

Proactive Career Management

The leaders of the future should hold a proactive career management mindset. Simply put, they must recognize the skills they need to progress in their path while constantly developing themselves and striving to achieve their challenging goals.

Work-Life Balance (well-being):

Last but not least, well-being is an important aspect of leadership. Managing our energy is not so different from managing our yearly budget — if we spend some amount of it here, we wouldn’t be able to use it elsewhere. Focusing on our mental, physical, and spiritual health is our fuel for the long run, and we don’t want to abuse our system.

5 — The I-21 Land

In the new era of the workplace, leaders will need to invent and reinvent themselves by creating their own lands. They will need to acquire a constant inner reorientation that they have to go through to incorporate the different changes into their lives.

Leaders should understand where the market is going and show the way forward. In addition, they will need to understand what kind of skills are necessary to develop, pay attention to their clients’ changing needs, nurture their employees, help them acquire a growth mindset, and, how their work can contribute to society at large.

Gali Bloch Liran is an Executive Coach working with CEOs, investors, startup founders and an Entrepreneurship Lecturer at IDC Herzliya